For all you writing enthusiasts out there, it’s time to get in the spirit. Because November 1st is the beginning of NaNoWriMo! For those of you who don’t know what that is, here’s the gist of it: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challenge to try to complete an entire novel over the course of November. The goal is to get to 50 000 words by the end of the month, which means just shy of 1 700 words a day. Now, that might not seem so bad, but we all have lives outside of writing. So if you miss a day? If you miss two? The words just start piling up, and it all gets rather scary.
So this begs the question: is it really worth it?
In a word, yes.
With the deadline of a month, and all of the little gadgets NaNoWriMo’s website has to keep you on track, there is a lot of motivation to get to the end, to actually write an entire novel. Not only that, NaNoWriMo forms a great community with everything from forums, to organized write-ins. With this, writing, which is usually a very solitary art, becomes a way to connect with a larger group of people. Somehow this community aspect turns the looming deadline into something fun, something that everyone can push towards together.
Above all of that, NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity to actually finish something. If you’re like me, committing to a single project is difficult. Do you often find yourself jumping from idea to idea? Getting bored with your current writing endeavor? Looking over what you’ve got so far and just being so disappointed you bury the whole project along with your shame? If so, NaNoWriMo is a great idea for you. With the imposed dates and word counts, you have no choice but to commit, and since it’s such a hard push in such a short time, you don’t actually have to commit for that long. But then, if you succeed, bam, you’ve got a novel, and it only steals away a month of your time (and in the writing world, that isn’t bad at all.)
Additionally, if you’re someone whose curse is second-guessing: is this this really how I want to word this? Is this project really worth the effort I’m putting into it? Then you’re in luck; with NaNoWriMo’s 50 000 words in a month system, there isn’t any time to doubt yourself. Of course, after the contest is finished, what you do with your novel is your own business. NaNoWriMo is about finishing a novel, it isn’t about divine quality. So if you’ve had a novel idea on the backburner for a while, or if you want some motivation just to write something through, NaNoWriMo is something you should consider.
Even if you don’t have something planned, NaNoWriMo can still be a good time. If you’re totally void of ideas, just start November 1st with a blank page, and see where your fingers take you.
The contest starts November 1st, so if you’re interested, hurry and sign up at http://nanowrimo.org